UT students to decide on funds for campus programming

UT students to decide on funds for campus programming

UT SGA President Kelsey Keny is encouraging all students to support funding for campus programs. UT SGA President Kelsey Keny is encouraging all students to support funding for campus programs.
Knoxville, TN -

6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Beginning Monday, students at the University of Tennessee must decide whether or not they want part of the fees they pay for school to cover student programming.

The portion of students fees in question used to go directly to fund on-campus programs, but following the controversy surrounding UT’s “Sex Week,” that’s no longer the case.

Students now have to opt-in if they want that to happen.

That’s a decision UT’s Student Government Association is fighting for.

SGA President Kelsey Keny says the amount of money from each student’s fees that could potentially go towards campus programming is $19.46.

If students opt out, the money would go to a separate fund, the use of which has not yet been determined.

UT’s SGA is asking all students to opt in.

Keny says in years past, that portion of student fees has helped put on countless educational events, hosted by the more than 500 on-campus organizations.

"They are from all different organizations that have something they want to say and want to share with students,” said Keny. “Whether it's a speaker you want to bring, whether it's a film you want to present, whether it's a festival you want to put on on campus.”

Keny showed 6 News the calendar of last year’s hundreds of events the money helped bring to campus.

"These are past events that have gone on using this money, meaning if students don't opt in, these are all the different things that if this fee had been here a year ago, they wouldn't have gotten to go to,” said Keny.

She believes these programs are invaluable to the collegiate experience.

"You go to class at 8 a.m. You write your research papers. You take your exams. That's one way of learning. But I think going to these programs is a whole different way of learning while going to UT,” said Keny.

Without the funding, Keny says some programs may not be able to be put on at all, and if they are, students may have to pay to attend them.

To help get the word out, SGA has even started a social media campaign to encourage students to opt in.

Students can make their selection when they log onto their ‘my UTK’ email account.

"By choosing to opt in, by choosing this first option on 'my UTK', you're going to get the most extraordinary college experience that you're looking for,” said Keny.

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